Sexual Function and Quality of Life for Women with Mild-to-Moderate Stress Urinary Incontinence


  • Michal Liebergall-Wischnitzer CNM, PhD,

  • Ora Paltiel MD, MSc,

  • Drorit Hochner-Celnikier MD,

  • Yuval Lavy MD,

  • Orly Manor PhD,

  • Anna Carol Woloski Wruble NM, EdD

Address correspondence to Anna C. Woloski Wruble, NM, EdD, Henrietta Szold Hadassah Hebrew University School of Nursing, POB 12000, Jerusalem, Israel 91120. E-mail:


Introduction: Sexual function is affected by stress urinary incontinence with or without pelvic organ prolapse. The aim of the study was to describe the sexual function of women with mild-to-moderate stress urinary incontinence, with or without pelvic organ prolapse (up to stage 2) and examine correlations with symptoms and quality of life. This investigation was part of a large, randomized, clinical trial of women with stress urinary incontinence who participated in an exercise intervention.

Methods: Women included in the study suffered from stress urinary incontinence as measured by a pad test and were interested in an exercise intervention. All participants underwent assessment for prolapse staging. Instruments included: the Pelvic Organ Prolapse/Urinary Incontinence Sexual Questionnaire (PISQ-12), Incontinence Quality of Life Questionnaire (I-QOL), and a health and urinary leakage questionnaire.

Results: One hundred and eighty-seven ambulatory women, aged 20 to 65 years, had a mean sexual function score of 36.9 (standard deviation [SD] 5.9). No significant correlation was found between the sexual function scores and quantity of urinary leakage. A significant correlation existed between the sexual function and I-QOL scores (P < .001). An additional finding was that women with urgency symptoms were older (P= .04) and had significantly lower sexual function scores (mean 35.7; SD 6.4) than those who did not report urgency (mean 38.7; SD 4.6; P < .001).

Discussion: Women with mild-to-moderate stress urinary incontinence, without or with lower stages of pelvic organ prolapse, demonstrated good sexual function, which correlated with physical and psychosocial factors. Health professionals need to perform multifaceted intake assessments on women with urinary leakage to customize their health promotion regimen.